Radio listening can be expressed this same way. When a listener tunes to a radio station, the person is essentially consuming the station. An hour spent listening to one station is an hour spent not listening to another station.
While it generally isn’t reported in the US, the rating services of other countries often publish consumption as Hours-Tuned.
Arbitron metrics are based on listeners. The company releases ratings based on weekly TSL (time spent listening) and cume, the number of people listening to a station.
Ando Media metrics are based on sessions. The company releases ratings based on session starts and the average duration of a session.
The numbers aren’t directly comparable, but with a little math, they can be.
To illustrate the calculation, the graph above shows consumption of Pandora expressed as Hours-Tuned.
Last September, users consumed eighty-two million hours each week listening to Pandora, eighty-one million session starts with an average duration of a little over an hour.
Consumption has steadily risen since then, and now stands at nearly one hundred seventy-five million hours. This is well over twice the consumption of the number two Ando ranked service.
Arbitron’s latest national study puts 12+ broadcast listenership at roughly 232 million listeners, and TSL at fifteen hours and fifteen minutes. That translates into a little over 3.5 billion hours consumed each week, nearly 22 times the consumption of Pandora.
This number includes non-commercial broadcast listening. To be conservative, we can use Arbitron’s network numbers published in their RADAR report. Hours-Tuned for network stations is a slightly lower 2.9 billion hours consumed.
Hours-Tuned in Los Angeles alone is 149.7 million hours, putting broadcast consumption in Los Angeles a little behind Pandora’s national consumption.
Using Hours-Tuned, we can finally compare Internet services directly to broadcast. It shows streaming services have plenty of room to grow.